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The FBI Says "Sabu," the Influential LulzSec Member, One of Two Arrested, Six Charged

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, March 6 2012

In a press release, the Federal Bureau of Information announced the indictment of six people who are charged with using their hacking skills to sneak onto an FBI call with other law enforcement agencies as well as information raids on HBGary, an information security firm that had been apparently planning a propaganda campaign against Wikileaks, and Stratfor, a global intelligence firm; and attacks on websites belonging to Fox, Sony, and PBS.

The release supports much of a FoxNews.com exclusive published earlier today. Together, they paint a picture of key mistakes compromising the security of the FBI — and of the man alleged to be a LulzSec leader turned informant.

The FBI announced that Hector Xavier Monsegur, a New York-based computer programmer, has already pled guilty — on Aug. 15 — to 12 counts related to computer hacking conspiracies and other crimes. Citing FBI sources, Fox exclusively reported that Monsegur began working for the FBI after his arrest.

The thing about Monsegur is that people have been alleging for months that he was the outspoken hacker known online as "Sabu." Another hacker — th3j35t3r or "The Jester," known for his pursuit of members of Anonymous in general and Sabu in particular — guessed, as far back as last June, that Monsegur was Sabu.

Update: Other folks were making similar guesses at the same time.

How? Chat logs already made public linked Sabu to a domain name, prvt.org. In June, that domain name was up for renewal, Jester wrote — and while it auto-renewed, the "domain privacy" settings on the domain did not. Monsegur's name was out there in plain text, associated with the domain.

Hours before the news of Monsegur's arrest and plea were made public, Sabu tweeted, "Die Revolution sagt ich bin, ich war, ich werde sein" — a reference to Rosa Luxemburg, a far-left German revolutionary who is quoted as saying:

“Tomorrow the revolution will 'rise up again, clashing its weapons,' and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing: I was, I am, I shall be!”

But the FBI alleges that Monsegur was one of two people to make a grave error — the other being a law enforcement official. In the FBI release, the law enforcement agency alleges that the hackers were able to gain access to an FBI call when one of their number, named in the release as Irish national Donncha O'Cearrbhail, gained access to the personal email account of a member of the Irish national police service.

"Because the Garda officer had forwarded work e-mails to a personal account," per the release, "O’Cearrbhail learned information about how to access a conference call that the Garda, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies were planning to hold on January 17, 2012 regarding international investigations of Anonymous and other hacking groups."

Also charged are Jake Davis, alleged to be "Topiary" and reportedly arrested in the Shetland Islands last July; Ryan Ackroyd, alleged to be the hacker "kayla;" Darren Martyn, alleged to be "pwnsauce;" and Jeremy Hammond, alleged to be "Anarchaos."

Hammond was arrested late Monday, the FBI announced. Ackroyd is being interviewed by law enforcement in the UK.

Law enforcement officials in the UK last September announced the arrest of two men who were accused of sharing the alias "kayla."